When you spend a lot of time in the garden like I do, the right tool can make a huge difference in productivity. While large tools such as rakes, spades and shovels are great for tackling big jobs, close up work requires smaller hand tools instead. Here are five of my favorite gardening hand tools that I use multiple times a day.
Dandelion Digging tool
Tackling dandelions the green way is easy to do with a dandelion digging tool. Shaped like a screwdriver but with a v-notched head, this digging tool grabs both the root and tops in one quick motion. Dandelion digging tools are generally priced at under $10.
For digging planting holes, ladling potting mix into containers, and mixing up compost with peat moss and other amenities, a wide scoop garden trowel is a practical tool to own. While trowels come in two sizes (wide scoop and narrow) I’ve found the wide scoop trowels to be much more practical to use. Garden trowels range in price from $1 for a narrow trowel to $18 for a deluxe model.
Still used for shearing sheep, these fantastic tools also do a great job in trimming grass, topping onion heads, and rapid dead heading of flowering plants such as Shasta daisies and dianthus. My sheep shears is an antique though you can find reproduction ones online between $10-20.
Japanese digging knife (Hori Hori)
I bought my first hori hori several years ago and it’s probably the most important gardening hand tool I own. The hori hori is great for digging up large weeds, measuring planting depth, cutting twine, dead heading dry grasses, and tearing open bags of composted manure. Japanese digging knives are available online for about $30 though inexpensive knock offs can be found at gardening centers between $10-20.
A bypass pruner is designed to work like a scissors and makes a nice, clean cut when used to trim small plants, roses, and woody perennials. I prune all my plants quite regularly to remove dead blossoms, dead stems, straggly branches, and to reshape plants that have fallen. Pruners are also used to cutting flowers. Bypass pruners can be found at all gardening centers. I recommend a good quality bypass pruners made by Corona or Leonard which carry lifetime warranties. Priced at about $33, these pruners make pruning a cinch.
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How to grow your own tray of annual bedding plants from seed
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